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Few Words About Creatine

by Eloiza

What is creatine?

Creatine was discovered in 1832 by a French chemist, Michel-Eugène Chevreul, before being the subject of numerous studies and research by the scientific community in the 70s and 80s.

Creatine is a molecule made from three amino acids: arginine, glycine and methionine.

  1. Our body can draw it directly from food, since it is found in protein foods (meat, fish, egg, dairy products…) but few in plants.
  2. Our body can synthesize it through the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is naturally present in our muscles in the form of creatine phosphate (phosphocreatine) to meet our creatine needs during an effort.

It is a molecule that has made a lot of talk about it for good or bad. Today, it is clearer, it is not on the list of doping products and its sale is authorized. It was banned on the French sports market for ignorance of the health authorities. Its commercialization in the 1990s in the most popular form, creatine monohydrate has been accompanied by numerous studies that have shown its effectiveness in strength sports and its absence of danger or side effects.

To learn more, discover our article “What is creatine?”

How does creatine work?

To answer “What is the use of creatine?”, it is an energy bonus immediately available, during explosive efforts and small high-intensity series. It also increases strength.

The phosphocreatine naturally present in our muscles represents 70% of the creatine present in muscle cells, the rest being free creatine (30%).

  1. Phosphocreatin releases energy by giving a phosphate to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to potentiate muscle energy while ATP (adenosine triphosphate) releases its phosphates by producing energy (6 first seconds of exercise).
  2. This dual process maintains instant energy synthesis before glucose and glycogen reserves take over to ensure continuous ATP and energy synthesis.

 

The more muscles have in reserve, the more they will be able to regenerate their ATP. They will therefore be able to maintain an intense effort in a longer time without damage. Even if its effects on muscle mass are sometimes questioned, it can be explained that with optimized and constant recycling of ATP, muscles can take an additional workload and therefore make the most of the effects of training to develop.

How is creatine assimilated by the body?

Creatine is preferably taken with a sugary drink (a fruit juice) for optimal effectiveness, because the insulin peak caused transports creatine to the muscles. Some forms of creatine already include sugars for better assimilation simply with water.

The important thing is to follow the intake protocol, every day for 3 to 4 weeks, to hope to feel the effects.

Assimilation depends on the storage capacity of the muscles (it is stored primarily in white muscle fibers with rapid contraction) which can vary from one person to another and the level of muscle training. If the stock of creatine is already at maximum, it will not be possible to reserve it for later. Similarly, as it is the active muscles that store creatine, if you are not trained enough, you will eliminate what you will absorb, your body not being able to use it.

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